Shane's Inner CircleLearning about cinematography online is no easy task. Since there is more educational material about cinematography on the internet than one person could possibly sift through during an entire lifetime, finding relevant, topical information when you actually need it can be a bit of a drag. Luckily, there are a few online resources to combat this. Shane Hurlbut's fantastic blog has always been one of them, but since Hurlbut and his team are entirely devoted to educating the next generation of cinematographers, a simple blog wasn't enough. That's why they created Shane's Inner Circle, an interactive educational gathering place for up-and-coming cinematographers, where Hurlbut will generously share his wealth of knowledge, as well as a hefty set of tools, with followers.

First things first, here's the trailer that Shane and his team created for Shane's Inner Circle:

So what exactly is Shane's Inner Circle, and what kinds of things will you learn by subscribing? Here's what Hurlbut had to say in his blog post about the new program:

Shane’s Inner Circle is a monthly membership club designed to be intimate, interactive, and share extreme attention to detail for those of you who desire to take your filmmaking and storytelling to the next level. Many of you have voiced how my virtual mentorship has changed your life and that our current informational posts have helped shape you as a storyteller. This club is my commitment to help advance filmmaking knowledge globally. I think of it as being able to share the “Keys to My Castle.”

Membership in the program, which costs $8/month, covers a wide range of unique educational topics and tools that cinematographers of any experience level will be able to utilize in their own work. The website is broken down into the following categories

  • On Set With Shane: It is an operating series that outlines my day to day challenges and triumphs from my latest feature film projects. These documents are jam packed with visual aids, location pictures, links, and lighting schematics that will share the decision process I go through every day.
  • Power Posts: Lighting, lens choice, composition, blocking, and exposure are discussed in depth along with techniques for you to implement immediately. Video examples, testing and full audio commentary put you inside my stream of consciousness.
  • Monthly Podcast: Submit your challenges and questions and I will answer them in this hour long Podcast giving you access to my 20 years of experience, ranging from career advice, to lighting techniques and everything in between.
  • Camera Profiles & LUT's: Get access to the picture styles that I have used on Act of Valor and over a 150 commercials. They will transform your DSLR into a cinematic machine. Increase your efficiency and productivity on set by downloading camera profiles for the C500, C300, and 1DC that my team and I roll out with on a daily basis. Download profiles to transform your SmallHD DP-7 into an efficient on set visual tool.These profiles are pulled from my camera team’s experience, providing you customized smart key functions, focus assist settings, and 16 LUTS to help expose your creations.
  • In-Depth Tests: Lens, camera and lighting tests will educate you on what camera, lenses or lighting will best suit your creation.
  • Lighting Fundamentals: The critical decision of where to place lights and when to add or take away light is discussed in detail.

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but this is the type of educational hub that I've been waiting for since the day that I first picked up a camera. Without having seen any of the content yet -- the site launches in 5 days -- it's hard to say whether or not the site will live up to expectations. However, considering the quality of the content on Hurlbut's blog, I think it's a safe bet to say that this will be an educational resource like no other.

So if you're interested, head on over to Shane's Inner Circle and get signed up.